“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is a phrase many of us have heard multiple times. But what, exactly, does it mean? Simply, beauty is subjective. As a result, the character traits and physicality of one individual may or may not be viewed favorably by another.
While there are no harms to having preferences, what is harming is a society pushing one “ideal” body type and appearance on the mass culture to promote conformity. Just because people look different does not make them any less beautiful — and this is a truth photographer Mihaela Noroc seeks to share with the world.
For four years, the Romanian photographer has been traveling the world with a backpack and camera. The purpose? Photograph “everyday women” and collect their stories. The images and stories have since been published in the project, entitled The Atlas of Beauty.
Noroc wrote on Bored Panda,
“My goal is to show that every woman shines like a star because beauty is diversity, and not just what we see in mass-media. For me, the real beauty has no age, colours or trends. You can find it in Africa or in Europe, in a village or in a skyscraper, in a smile, in a gesture, in an intense gaze, in some wrinkles, or in a story. You can find it in every kind-hearted human being.”
The Atlas of Beauty is now a stunning book with upwards of 500 portraits and accompanying stories.
Wrote Noroc, “In a time of hate and intolerance, I want to send a message about love and acceptance. I hope this book will get into many homes around the world, convincing more people that diversity is a treasure and not a trigger for conflicts and hate. We are very different but at the same time we are all part of the same family.”
Following are 15+ photographs that just might change the way you perceive beauty:
#1 Kathmandu, Nepal